I don’t qualify as a spokesperson for all pets. (I had two brief experiences with cats, but a lifetime of experience with dogs.) Therefore I can speak for dogs, only.
I grew up in the mountains with plenty of snow, tourists and… avalanches. When an avalanche buries people, teams of rescuers try to locate and rescue the victim or victims, as it may be the case. The rescue operations are not always possible due to weather and not always successful. When human beings fail avalanche victims, they send in dogs. Under the dramatic conditions of the aftermath of an avalanche, dogs are often better at locating and reaching avalanche victims. A dog can deliver nourishment and warmth even in situations when people cannot. (I suspect that the same applies to the aftermath of other natural disasters.)
Where I’m coming from, people revere dogs because under catastrophic conditions they can be superior to humans. To know that 3.9 million dogs – PETS who don’t hesitate to sacrifice their lives for people! – are brought to US animal shelters every year is difficult for me to comprehend. To know that 1.2 million dogs are euthanized annually in the US is beyond heart-breaking. Needless to say, I don’t understand how anyone could abuse or abandon a dog. Dogs have unlimited faith in people and won’t hesitate to risk or even give a life to save ours. Abusing, abandoning and even killing dogs is entirely beyond my capacity to understand. (When it comes to other pets / animals, I don’t get it either: a betrayal is a betrayal no matter who’s the victim.) There is an URGENT NEED to amend human betrayal of PETS!
My personal feelings aside, the number of PETS brought to animal shelters and euthanized every year is staggering. Way beyond any person’s ability to make an impact. Thankfully, there are many organizations out there that are actively working to change the current situation and prevent it from continuing.
Some of the animal welfare and / or animal advocacy organizations are local and some nationwide. Most assist pet owners in obtaining low cost spay / neuter services, sometimes even free to those who qualify. Many of the charities foster animals available for adoption. Some created no-kill animal shelters. All of them depend on our support for their success. Helping PETS (animals, in this case doesn’t really apply) is costly. There are costs of veterinary expenses, shelter, food and a lot more. If funds are lacking there is less availability and more pets have to be killed.
If and when we realize that this isn’t about “animals” at large but PETS that trusted human beings and were betrayed by them, the issue of abandoned pets and killing them to reduce cost to taxpayers may finally come to an end. Until then Anything L.A. Magazine will feature stories about L.A. animal charities and pets available for adoption in Los Angeles area to facilitate the unification of pets with people who won’t betray them.
We’ve done our homework to further the cause of preowned, adoptable pets. The editors of Anything L.A. Magazine conducted in-depth research of several Los Angeles area animal charities. All of them looked great, at first glance. An in depth research however revealed some disturbing facts: many of them in spite of proclaiming their commitment to fostering animals are NOT involved in animal rescue, AT ALL. Their purpose seems to be motivating donations and organizing fundraisers. The heart-warming pet pictures on their Websites? Well, they feature animals in city shelters that may or may no longer be alive…. It may be hard to believe, unfortunately, that’s what we found. I’m not saying that’s true of all Los Angeles animal charities: some are definitely legitimate, unfortunately, not all.
That’s why we picked the animal welfare charities Anything L.A. Magazine will support, CAREFULLY.
Anything L.A. Magazine’s Editor / E. Elrich